Alexis Moyer wins GSA Grant!

Congratulations to Alexis Moyer (ES alum, class of 2013) on winning a grant from the Geological Society of America. Alexis is currently pursuing an MSc in Physical Geography at the University of British Columbia. She is studying the impact of melting icebergs from the Bridge Glacier on the proglacial lake and discharge of the Bridge River. The Bridge River feeds a hydropower plant in British Columbia, and she is using her ES degree well! Check out this photo of Alexis near the Bridge Glacier.

ES alum Elena Rubino

Hi, ES folks –

ES alumna Elena Rubino just dropped by the department for a visit. She is moving to the University of Florida to get her PhD after having completed her MS at the University of Delaware.

The title of her thesis is "Methods for population control: A case study on the axis deer of Maui Island, HI.”

In case you’re interested, here’s her abstract:

This study is an exploration of the social, ecological, and economic components of creating a commercialized hunt of non-native axis deer (Axis axis) on Maui Island, Hawaii. A series of interviews and surveys were used to determine the preferred population control policy alternatives to manage overabundant axis deer. The surveys placed an emphasis on exploring the feasibility of and attitudes towards the commercialized harvest method of control because it is a new and controversial policy alternative for Maui. A survey was distributed to locally owned and operated Hawaiian businesses that may be interested in utilizing axis deer parts in their products or supplying axis deer venison to their customers. Another survey was distributed via mail and advertised in newspapers to the general public of Maui. These surveys polled participants about their axis deer control method preferences and investigated the opinions of consumers about purchasing axis deer venison and other products. A subset of these questions meant solely for hunters—primarily regarding hunter education and attitudes about population control methods– were also distributed to the Maui hunting body through hunting clubs. Interviews with the Maui Axis Deer Working Group were also used to understand governmental preferences regarding population control.

This study is the first comprehensive documentation available to the public that explores the efforts to create and maintain successful commercialized axis deer harvesting in Maui. Survey results indicate that there is ample market demand for axis deer products that would be available as a result of a commercialized harvest. Additionally, it was found that recreational hunting, commercialized harvesting, and fencing were the most preferred methods of populations control and it is recommended that unique blends of these methods should be used for different communities, based on local objectives.

Yes! ES rocks! – John

John A. Commito


Environmental Studies Department

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA

Phone: 717-337-6030

Fax: 717-337-8550

E-mail: jcommito


Article about ES alumna, Jessica Lee!

Hi everyone,

Check out this article about Jess Lee (ES major, class of 2013). She was a research assistant with me in Iceland last summer, following the completion of her ES 460 project. Jess is currently working in Denmark at DIS, and they recently wrote this article about her. We recently published a paper together, too.



ES students invited to join Phi Beta Kappa!

Congratulations to senior ES majors Sondra Winders and Tasha Eulberg for earning Phi Beta Kappa honors!! Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most widely known academic honor society in the USA (see for details). That makes 3 ES majors in Phi Beta Kappa this year, as Alyson Hampsch was inducted last fall. Nice job!!

Happy Spring Break!


Sarah Principato, Associate Professor

Department of Environmental Studies

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA 17325